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Tue, Jan 24


Zephyr Institute

What Is Love’s Work? Introducing Gillian Rose’s Social Philosophy

A dinner reading group for students and young professionals in the Bay Area.

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What Is Love’s Work? Introducing Gillian Rose’s Social Philosophy

Time & Location

Jan 24, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM PST

Zephyr Institute, 560 College Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94306, USA

About the Event

Since her death at the age of 48 in 1995, the English philosopher Gillian Rose’s thought has continued to grow in prominence and influence among philosophers, theologians, and culture critics. Over her career, Rose launched a comprehensive critique of modernity, philosophy, sociology, and education from an unrepentantly Hegelian perspective, tempered by her profound engagement with Jewish and Christian thought, especially Soren Kierkegaard. Rose argued that Marxism, and the later turn toward Postmodernism represented by Deleuze, Derrida, and Foucault, were incapable of healing the rupture of facts and values that has shackled western thought since Kant. Only Hegel, who taught that the Absolute can be thought, held out the possibility, in Rose’s words, of bringing the soul and the city back together and offering a viable political theology. A notoriously difficult writer, Rose wrote her most accessible, yet deceptively profound, book at the end of her life while she was dying of cancer: her philosophical memoir, Love’s Work: A Reckoning with Life. In this reading group, we will read Love’s Work and carefully chosen excerpts from her other works, and think together about the soul, the city, and the love of wisdom.

Discussions will be led by Joe Amato (Stanford University).

If you would like a copy of Love's Work, please contact Zephyr.


Tuesday, January 17th, 530-7PM: An Introduction to Love's Work

Tuesday, January 24th, 530-7PM: Love's Work: Soulcraft

Tuesday, January 31st, 530-7PM: Love's Work: Statecraft

Course Outline

I. An Introduction to Love’s Work

Reading Assignments:

Rose, Love’s Work: A Reckoning with Life

II. Love’s Work: Soulcraft

Reading Assignments:

Rose, Love’s Work: A Reckoning with Life

RTÉ Radio Interview, Parts 1 and 2

Rose, Paradiso, selections

- Edna or the Song of Songs: Mystical Theology, 15–36

- Dr Grove or Goodness: Hellenism, 42–47

Optional Further Readings:

Rose, Dialectic of Nihilism, selection

- Conclusion, 208–212

Rose, Judaism and Modernity, selection

- Preface, v–viii

III. Love’s Work: Statecraft

Reading Assignments:

Rose, Love’s Work: A Reckoning with Life

Rose, Mourning Becomes the Law, selection

- Athens and Jerusalem: a tale of three cities, 15–39

Optional Further Readings:

Rose, The Broken Middle, selection

- New Jerusalem Old Athens: The Holy Middle, 277, 289–296

Rose, Hegel contra Sociology, selection

- VII. With What Must the Science End?, 218–226


All mandatory readings, with the exception of Love’s Work: A Reckoning with Life, can be found HERE.

All optional further readings can be found HERE.



J.G. Amato (PhD candidate, Early Modern European History) is a dissertation prize fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center and has been awarded grants and fellowships from the US Fulbright Commission, the Embassy of Switzerland in Washington, DC, Stanford University, and the University of Notre Dame.

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